Japan U20 national team looking to Quarter-Final round after beating Kyrgyz Republic U20 national team with a score of 3-0 in the AFC U20 Asian Cup 2023 Group stage, Group D at JAR Stadium, Tashkent.
Japan rose to their feet and calmly dodged the opponent’s aggressive pressure from the front to build up the match. In the 5th minute, Naoki Kumada, who scored two goals in the first match, fired a powerful mid-range shot that was blocked by a good save by the goalkeeper.
Kyu Matsuki, Koudai Sano, and Kenshin Yasuda in the midfield quickly regained the ball even after losing the ball. While shaking up the opponent with good tempo transitions, he created chances with long balls and crosses aimed at the space behind the back line.
In the 33rd minute, Sota Kitano stole the ball in his own half, dribbled long distance, and delivered the final pass to the right of the penalty area. Hidemasa Koda, who contained this, shot with his left foot and was blocked by a defender.
After returning scoreless, the beginning of the second half was pushed into development. Still, he kept his focus defensively and didn’t take any shots, gradually regaining his rhythm. In the 61st minute, Takatora Naganaga, who was brought in at the start of the second half, threw a floating ball to the front line, and Kitano matched a right-footed volley in front of the goal, which was again saved by the goalkeeper.
Then, in the 73rd minute, they finally moved the match. Matsuki, who responded to Kitano’s through ball on the left side of the penalty area, was knocked down by the goalkeeper and earned a penalty kick. The kicker, Sano, calmly put the ball into the right side of the goal with his right foot.
Two minutes later, Kumada struck a powerful left-footed mid-range shot from a quick attack to add another point. In the 85th minute, substitute Issai Sakamoto scored from a right corner kick to make it 3 points behind. The match ended as it was, and Japan made a big step forward to advance to the knockout stage with two consecutive wins.
Credit Photo : AFC